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Best Inkjet Printers for Note Card Greeting Card Printing


What Inkjet Printers are best for greeting card printing?


With so many inkjet printers available, your choices for a good greeting card printer are better than ever. As usual, some are better than others for specific tasks. A number of key factors come together to make a reliable, high quality greeting card printer. The printers in this article have been selected based on print tests in the RRP print lab as well as customer feedback.


 

What are the important features of a greeting card inkjet printer?

  • Reliable paper feed - greeting card papers require a printer with a well designed, reliable paper feed.
  • Speed - you don't want to wait around all day for a run of 100 cards
  • Color and detail - most greeting cards feature photos or artwork that need true color reproduction
  • Product quality - how long will the printer run before you have to buy another?
  • Ink economy - you need to keep overall costs down to maximize profit and minimize overhead.

Important note - With the exception of the TS9521C below, inkjet printers do not print greeting card sizes without borders. If you do not have a TS9521C, expect 1/8" to 1/4" outside margins.

 

 


Canon PRO-100

Street Price: $399 - Rebates often available

This is the hot rod of greeting card printers. Great color reproduction, robust paper feed, and compatibility with all Red River inkjet papers make the PRO-100 a favorite for greeting card production. It is also an excellent choice if you want to expand into larger print sizes.

Interested in larger sizes for photo, design, and art prints? Find the best compatible inkjet papers for the Canon PRO-100. Read the full Canon PRO-100 review here.

 


Pros Cons

 

  • Speed - outstanding speed even at top quality level
  • 8 color dye inks - outstanding color
  • Compatibility - works with all Red River Paper products
  • Paper feed - consistent feeding of all Red River card products

 

  • • Thermal print head may need to be replaced with extreme use.

 


Canon TS9521C

Street Price: $199

This is the first inkjet printer specifically designed to print borderless 7x10 (folds to 5x7) greeting cards! It features four dye-based photo inks and one pigment black for document printing. It can also prints 12x12 sheets without borders. Red River Paper supports all TS models with printer color profiles. Read our TS9521C review here.


Pros Cons

 

  • BORDERLESS 7x10 (folds to 5x7) capability
  • Speed - You can expect excellent speed with design and photo prints
  • Good color quality - recommended that you use ICC profiles for the best possible output
  • Very reliable paper feed system
  • Max paper width 12"
  • Supports various types of media from 4" x 6" to 12" x 12"
  • Connectivity - USB 2.0, ethernet, wireless
  • Four color - four dye-based ink tanks plus pigment black for documents

 

  • 5 color system - Canon has discontinued low cost six color printers.
  • Smaller ink tanks mean more replacements. Please note ink cost still in line with our estimates.

 

Canon TS Series Printers
TS9120

Street Price: $99-$149

We're so pleased that Canon again offers a small, rear fed, desktop photo printer. The Canon TS series fits a number of needs - photo printer, scanner, and greeting card printer - that many of you ask us about. All of the TS printers offer very good photo quality and consistent card stock feed. As with any printer, when you get to the heaviest papers, expect to feed them in one sheet at a time. Choose a TS if you want to print cards but are not planning on huge volumes. Red River Paper supports all TS models with printer color profiles.

Pros Cons

 

  • Remarkable print speed
  • Very good photo quality - Choose the TS9120 for best color gamut
  • Ink economy meets Red River's expectations
  • Good and consistent paper feed
  • ChromaLife 100+ ink system
  • Small platform, scanner, copier are bonus features

 

  • Smaller ink tanks mean more replacements. Please note ink cost still in line with our estimates.

 

Where are the HP & Epson Printers?

Both Epson and HP make fine photo quality printers. However, at this point none have a paper feed mechanism suitable for consistent card printing. Additionally, HP has removed the custom paper size feature from the Windows driver. This locks Windows users from popular greeting card sizes.

Summary

Paper feed, print speed, and print quality are all top considerations when choosing a printer for cards. Always pick printer with a rear-top loading paper tray. Do not choose a printer that only loads from a front paper cassette. It won't work for card stock.

A popular question is "How much will it cost to print my cards?". After extensive printing and calculations on ink usage, Red River Paper produced a cost per card chart that you can see here. The great news is that paper, ink, and envelope cost less than $1.00 for most papers.

Printing inkjet greeting cards is a big part of what makes inkjet printers especially useful. Red River Paper feels that photographers and artists should create a line of cards from their work. At minimum they are powerful marketing pieces. They can often be sold for $5 each at art fairs or festivals.

 

WHAT'S NEXT

Order a greeting card sampler today and find your favorites

Shop for inkjet printable note card papers

Learn about the cost to print your own cards

 

 

 

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